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Eyeborg
June 30, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Filmmaker Rob Spence was blinded in his right eye, so he replaced it with a wireless video camera. He is building a video feed so people can see the world through his eye.
posted by mattdidthat (40 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Warning: that video is not great for squeamish folks.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:04 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


previously
posted by matt_od at 2:04 PM on June 30, 2010


I once met a guy who lost an eye in Iraq and had a prosthesis with a miniature Purple Heart embedded inside. I thought that was bad-ass, but this is even better.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:04 PM on June 30, 2010


Cool in principle and NO THANK YOU.
posted by everichon at 2:06 PM on June 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Intriguing -- I'll keep an eye out for his future work.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:14 PM on June 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'll be interested when they wire it into his optic nerve so he can see through it.

*starts calculating Essence costs for various sensor packages
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:18 PM on June 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Aside from the miniturization, Steve Mann did all this more than a decade ago.
posted by crunchland at 2:19 PM on June 30, 2010


This is pretty cool and all, but I was hoping it would be about an unholy alliance of the Cyber Men and Daleks.
posted by vertigo25 at 2:20 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


The sheer fucking guts to take a situation that would have me in tears - and turn it into a creative experiment is completely awesome. I just hope the cheezy 6M Dollar Man yuks yuks and self promotional antics are kept to a minimum.
posted by helmutdog at 2:25 PM on June 30, 2010


I once met a man that worked at a Little King sub shop. He'd managed to cut off one of his fingers with the meat cutter. He made it into a necklace. Well, at least that's the story he told me. He wasn't wearing it.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:26 PM on June 30, 2010


I'll be interested when they wire it into his optic nerve so he can see through it.

Oh, you'll want to check out all of these projects then. I remember reading a rather breathless article in Wired some years back about a fellow who had lost BOTH his eyes, getting an experimental video-neural prosthesis installed... there was a series of progress shots of the device getting calibrated to his visual cortex, and by the end of the initial test procedure, there was video of him driving the doctor's car around a parking lot using just the video feed jacked into his skull.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:27 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steve Mann did all this more than a decade ago.

Al Franken. One Man Mobile Uplink Unit.
posted by rokusan at 2:29 PM on June 30, 2010


I'm impressed that he made an implant, something not so different from a hearing aid or pacemaker, seem so sexy and cool.
posted by a sourceless light at 2:32 PM on June 30, 2010


Al Franken. One Man Mobile Uplink Unit.

Al Franken is funny and all but Steve Mann has a PhD in engineering and actually built all his own equipment. It's not exactly a real comparison.
posted by GuyZero at 2:33 PM on June 30, 2010


Also kids, don't play with guns. You'll shoot your eye out.
posted by GuyZero at 2:33 PM on June 30, 2010


I'm so weird about touching my eyes I can't even wear contact lenses, so this whole video makes me want to faint. What a kick-ass creative experiment though - too bad brain won't let me have a thing to do with it...*shiver*.

x_o
posted by Pecinpah at 2:40 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rob is amazing, but having been in his living room I wouldn't put anything from there in my eye.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:46 PM on June 30, 2010


The sheer fucking guts to take a situation that would have me in tears - and turn it into a creative experiment is completely awesome. I just hope the cheezy 6M Dollar Man yuks yuks and self promotional antics are kept to a minimum.

You sound like quite a killjoy. It's his own eye socket; let him have all the fun he wants.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2010


Wow. This is all very cool. But ... it's a year old. Has anyone found any of the videos he's actually shot with the eye?
posted by kanewai at 2:51 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pecinpah, you wouldn't have to worry about touching your eye any more because it would be gone.
Spoiler alert: I really wasn't expecting to see a sick and inflamed-looking eye being surgically removed.
posted by amethysts at 2:51 PM on June 30, 2010


Never has the word squick been more appropriate
posted by Leon at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2010


ok, I found some newer promo videos, but still can't find any actual footage!
posted by kanewai at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2010


"Pecinpah, you wouldn't have to worry about touching your eye any more because it would be gone."

Amethysts, I even have a hard time touching my eyes when they are closed. Having my engineer buddy farting around in the hole where my eye used to be sounds like a version of hell to me. UGH.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:56 PM on June 30, 2010


We are like 5 minutes away from the future. I mean, we have the technology to wire it into the nerve, and this guy is wrapping up the tech to put it inside his eye socket. Put a wireless dongle on the nerve and pair it to the eye prosthesis, and he gets his depth perception back, plus can upload video. Add in stuff like IR, night vision, and UV sensitivity, and you effectively have Geordi from Star Trek, a couple centuries early.

This is the kind of stuff that doesn't scare the crap out of me about technology ever advancing forward. And transhumanism usually freaks me out.

Oh wait, I just realized wireless transmitting and signal processing would call for a lot of juice, more than could fit in the socket's battery for a whole day most likely. I guess there's external batteries, but that's gross, bulky, and inconvenient. I guess we also need to work on fuel cells that run on blood sugar, and even more efficient electronics.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:59 PM on June 30, 2010


I have a mostly useless eye; I should totally do this! Anyone want to help?

Pecinpah, my good eye is looking at you...
posted by heyho at 3:02 PM on June 30, 2010


Won't he get turfed out of any films he goes to by the MPAA? /obligatory
posted by Sebmojo at 3:02 PM on June 30, 2010


If he watches the video feed himself in real time does he spiral into some sort of Being John Malkovich wormhole?

Snark aside, this is remarkably cool and exciting -- good on him for undertaking this!
posted by mosk at 3:22 PM on June 30, 2010


This guy earned his 15 minutes of fame.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 3:27 PM on June 30, 2010


Would I! harelip
posted by fixedgear at 3:41 PM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry sir it's illegal in this state to film an officer without his consent--I'm going to have to confiscate your brain until further notice.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:45 PM on June 30, 2010


The idea of this fascinates me but omg there is no fucking way I am watching that video. No sir. That one guy with the horrible fucking tootheye was nightmarish enough.
posted by elizardbits at 3:47 PM on June 30, 2010


This reminds me of that science fiction movie (kind of cheesy but I liked it at the time) Strange Days. In that future world you could purchase a virtual reality experience of some dude shagging Britney Spears or Lady Gaga.
posted by bukvich at 3:51 PM on June 30, 2010


Whatever Jimmy Fallon's punchline was, I'm glad we didn't have to hear it.
posted by DZack at 4:03 PM on June 30, 2010


This is extremely cool. It reminds me of Death Watch. It's a fucking bonkers film (though unfortunately it's not actually very good): directed by Bertrand Tavernier, who, when it was made in 1980, was being talked up as some sort of French Hitchcock; Romy Schneider plays a woman dying of natural causes in a just-futuristic dystopia where death has been eliminated; Harvey Keitel is the documentary maker who's had a camera implanted in his eye to follow her in her last days, the signal from his eye broadcast live on TV; the legend that is Harry Dean Stanton is Keitel's avaricious producer; and, having done playing chess with Death, Max von Sydow is Schneider's ex. Not to mention Robbie Coltrane, back when he wasn't the size of a walrus, and a blink and you'll miss him appearance from Bill Nighy. And it was filmed in Glasgow, back when Glasgow looked liked bombed-out shit – every building covered in soot, entire blocks of houses levelled, leaving only the streets and scrub ground behind.

It wasn't a great film, but it was remarkably prescient about the grubby voyeurism that dominates TV these days, and the motivations behind it. Though I reckon this guy has better intentions. Well, I hope he does ...
posted by Len at 4:37 PM on June 30, 2010


Oh yeah, this dude. I was wondering what happened to him, heard an interview year or two ago.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:39 PM on June 30, 2010


heh, I used to hang-out and party with Rob and his sister in the early 90's in Ottawa. I remember him being extremely hilarious and ridiculous - he definitely marches to his own drum. When I saw this on TV (there was a news-magazine story about it) I kept waiting for him to deliver some ridiculous punch line. Dude's sense of humor is "not right" in a good way.
posted by weezy at 5:01 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd give my right nut for one of those. But it'd be a little awkward for any practical use.
posted by hal9k at 5:18 PM on June 30, 2010


Goddamn that William Gibson and his ridiculous powers of prognostication. That was part of the plot of Burning Chrome, if I recall, where people could buy new eyes for others to see through, and would try to become reality TV stars. We might as well just all give in and start referring to the area from Boston to Atlanta as The Sprawl. Is the internet sentient yet?
posted by Kattullus at 10:02 PM on June 30, 2010


Goddamn that William Gibson and his ridiculous powers of prognostication. That was part of the plot of Burning Chrome...

Gibson?

D.G.Compton was on this back in 1973, with The Unsleeping Eye (aka "The Continuous Katherine Mortonhoe")

(Woman has her eyes replaced with video cameras....)
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:11 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well we should start calling him Olhado.
posted by maus at 9:05 PM on July 1, 2010


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